I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Friday, April 24, 2015

I Remember Now...

Longacres
I think I was in my late 20's when I experienced it for the first time.  There was excitement, noise, cheering, and anticipation in the air that was so thick, it could be used on pancakes.  There was a small group of us and we did our best to grasp the reality of what was going on around us, and it's been a long time since I've felt that.

Longacres was a horse track south of Seattle and it didn't really have a reputation like the Belmont, but it was colorful, exciting and horribly loud.  The size of the facility wasn't too large and it was built in such a manner that everyone felt close to the action.  I'd never gambled before and even then, there was a feeling like I was doing something wrong.  It was legal, but it felt weird.

I'm not really sure why it came to mind, why that event chose to resurrect itself in the graveyard of my memory, but it was a good one.

Home
I also remember the apartment we had when my mother got sick.  We had to be closer to her oncologist, so we moved to an area of Seattle called, "Rainier Beach."  It had a bit of a reputation for being a bit of a scary part of town, but I had no idea there was such a reputation, so I was just myself.  Granted, an angrier version of me, but I didn't know I needed to play pretend.

I remember the porch that led up to the entrance that took you down a hallway to two of the apartment doors, the other two being up the stairs.  The porch was a gathering place for youngsters such as myself.  They were just enjoying each others' company and maybe getting a touch football game revved up.  It was a simpler time, really.  Mom was still alive, the sun seemed to shine just a little brighter, and the laughter was just that much more intoxicating.  Though it wasn't really "home," it sure as hell felt like it. 

Drive-In
During my childhood in the Seattle area, the weekends were amazing.  On Friday after school, we would wait until Dad got home and ask the big question:  "Are we going to the drive-in?"  Sometimes we went, other times we didn't but the anticipation was almost as exciting as actually being there.  Loading up our blankets, our snack bag, and the pillows was almost ritualistic and each of us had a job to do.  I was responsible for the blankets, Mom always had the snacks ready, and Dad would make sure the dogs were fed and put up for the evening.  It was just a really cool time.

Today, there are only a handful of drive-ins left in the whole country and I'm afraid that mine will be the last generation to truly experience what it's like at a drive-in.  I've taken my kids a few times and they genuinely liked it.  The smells, the feel, the cool summer air, and the communal experience of watching a movie outside was completely amazing.  There is nothing else like it in the whole world.

Unfortunately, there are whole chunks of time that have been erased in my mind and even with prompting and encouragement, I just can't conjure up the visuals that correspond with the dialog.  Little bit by little bit, however, I get to sneak a peek at moments in history.  I can't tell you how frustrating and discouraging it can be at times.  But for every memory that comes forward, is accompanying joy and lots of smiles.

I'm thankful for these memories.

Gorilla